Source: Payless plans to move out of Topeka

Published: Nov. 17, 2017 at 11:40 AM CST
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Payless ShoeSource plans to relocate its world headquarters and leave the city where it was founded more than a half-century ago, a source tells 13 NEWS.

According to the source, interim CEO Martin Wade III held another meeting with employees Friday during which he reportedly told them the company will leave Topeka and move out of state. No timeline was given for the move.

The sources also said Wade told staff the company could find better talent in another location to staff the headquarters.

The discount shoe retailer reportedly cut people on Thursday. No more layoffs were expected on Friday, the source said.


Thursday night, Payless said "(a)s part of an initiative to redesign its organizational structure and better align resources, the Company is streamlining its corporate headquarters."

"This will enable Payless to modernize its approach to serving its customer in a continuously changing retail environment," the statement continued. 13 NEWS' source, who did not want to be identified, said the company wants to grow its e-commerce business.

Payless emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last August. Under those proceedings, it closed around 700 stores, and laid off workers at that time.

"(Payless is) one of the few retailers that has successfuly emerged from bankruptcy in what continues to be a challenging year for the industry," Wade said.

In addition to the potential move to e-commerce, Wade says Payless will shift its pricing strategy as well as increase its marketing toward the Hispanic community - calling it an underserved portion of their consumer base.

"We must challenge ourselves every day to ensure we take advantage of this fresh start,"Wade said. "We will continue to drive change and earn our customers' loyalty by providing great, quality styles for the whole family at an exceptional value."